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A Greyhound bus transports us through the landscape of American mythology. Directed by Harold Schuster. Director of Photography: Jerry Fairbanks. Screenplay: Charles L. Tedford, Leo S. Rosencrans. Film Editor: Milton Kleinberg. Art Director: Theobold Holsopple. Production Supervisor: John McKennon. Musical Supervision: Edward Paul. Assistant Director: Robert Scrivner. With Marshall Thompson (Mysterious Stranger); Tommy Kirk (Jimmy Rollins); Morris Ankrum (Fred Schroder); Angie Dickinson (Mary); Charles Maxwell (Bill Roberts) and Tex Ritter as himself. Winner of the Freedoms Foundation Special Award.
This movie is part of the collection: Prelinger Archives
Producer: Fairbanks (Jerry) Productions
Sponsor: Greyhound Lines, The
Audio/Visual: Sd, C
Keywords: Patriotism; Transportation: Bus; Travelogues
Creative Commons license: Public Domain
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Subject: If Doktor Faustus were set aboard a Greyhound bus...
Interesting odd little film starring the legendary Scenicruiser bus, Greyhound's exclusive offering during a time when everything in America was getting better and better, or at least it was thought to be. The inside of this bus looks more spacious than an airliner cabin of today.
The Mysterious Stranger has a definite air of fatality, nay, even gloom. "There's a bus waiting for us," he tells the Grieving Father. This is how Mephistopheles would have told Faust it was time to go down, if the play were set in the world of Greyhound buses.
Subject: What are the chances of meeting Tex Ritter on a Greyhound?
Even though it has the 'star' power of Tommy Kirk AND Tex Ritter, Freedom Highway isn't as good or delirious as "America For Me" and that somewhat hurts it.
Essentially, it follows a LONG Greyhound bus trip from SF to Washington DC, with everyone looking peppy-go-lucky even though they've probably been travelling for days on end. The story follows a number of characters, a boy meeting his troop in Washington, A disgruntled man picking up a congressional medal of honor for his late son, a bit of a laughable love story between a football player and a lady, and a bit of a mystery passenger who's identity, well, still remains a mystery. While all of this is going on, we get history lessons about What Made America So Great as they pass by each location (The Alamo, Boston Tea Party etc) which does nothing except pad the movie. Oh right, Tex Ritter pops in for a scene or two and laughably says he PREFERS hopping on the Greyhound to get a glimpse of the country. Eh, Tex? Were'nt you making enough money to get a bus of your own?
Finally, I just want to finish off this by talking a little bit about the 'mystery' passenger. NOONE bothers to really ask who this person is (when they do, it's brushed off) or why he knows everyone's name etc. The 'secret' at the end of the film about his identity is not really a big surprise, but why he was on the bus in the first place (or where he was coming from?) is the big mystery here.
Bill T. -
Please go here for the VCD version: (mpeg1 version)
Subject: CAN'T BE LOCATED ON SERVER???
What's up with this statement I see all over this site? How can they lose a movie? It's EXTREMELY disappointing. I'd like to know the REAL reason they take some movies off the site, wouldn't you?
Subject: Is is just me...
...or does the mysterious stranger look like Tim Robbins?
Fun and corny, but it drags on way too long.
Christine Hennig -
Subject: Freedom Highway (Full Film)
This very 50s film features a group of nice 50s people who travel across the country from San Francisco to Washington, D.C. on a Greyhound bus. Instead of becoming totally exhausted and stressed-out by this cross-country bus trip (you weren't expecting reality, were you?), they all become quite chummy and some even find a sort of patriotic salvation in "seeing the country". Featured are Tommy Kirk as a Boy Scout who utters "gee whiz!" at everything, Angie Dickenson and football star Bob Roberts who fall in love during the trip and decide to get married right away (I'd like to see her explain that to her parents!), and Tex Ritter who drops by to sing a song about the Alamo. Spoilsport Morris Ankrum plays an embittered man whose only son was killed in the Korean War but a clean-cut ghost with a crew cut straightens him out by taking him to Gettysburg. Lots of tidbits of American history are pointed out, but it's all the sort of "history-lite" you learned in grade school and later found out was apocryphal in college. It's all supposed to make you as impressed as Tommy Kirk, who, believe me, is impressed with everything. And if you're not, well you're just a rotten old spoilsport and maybe even a commie to boot. It's this kind of sugar-coated propaganda that the Firesign Theater so aptly sends up.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ***. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****. Also available on Our Secret Century, Vol. 6: The Uncharted Landscape.